A Medical Device Daily

Helicos BioSciences (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported a collaboration with Victor Ambros to apply the quantitative power of single molecule sequencing to develop a single assay to characterize known species of microRNA as well as discover new non-coding RNAs.

Ambros, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s (Worcester, Massachusetts) program of molecular medicine, discovered the existence of miRNA by finding the Lin-4, a miRNA found during a study of developmental timing in roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans. MiRNAs are single-stranded RNA molecules that play a critical role in gene regulation.

In other agreement news:

• Oncology Metrics (Dallas) and Cureline (Fort Worth, Texas) said they have reached an agreement to collaborate on oncology biospecimen procurement and management. The goal of the deal is to facilitate the collection and preservation of high quality pre-treatment and post-treatment samples with maximum efficiency. One of the limiting steps in the research and development process is getting access to well-preserved clinically defined samples from patients with detailed and accurate health records.

• MetaMorphix (Beltsville, Maryland) and Sequenom (San Diego) reported they have strengthened their partnership through MetaMorphix’s adoption of Sequenom’s MassArray and iPLEX foundation technologies, which provide cost-effective genotyping and enhanced efficiencies.

Sequenom’s platform for animal DNA screening and selection will allow MetaMorphix to scale up quickly, increasing its ability to handle more sample volumes following successful launches of DNA-based diagnostic products for both the livestock and companion animal markets.

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